Business banking clients of M&T are upbeat about the economy.
• Respondents are considerably more optimistic about the economy. 59 percent see the economy improving in the next six months, compared to 42 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
• While optimism is still high among business owners, respondents remain cautious as 53 percent have no plans to change their direct investments in capital expenditures. Additionally, 75 percent of business owners are experiencing difficulty finding qualified, experienced applicants to fill open positions, similar to 74 percent six months ago. • Health care and tax reform are the top legislative priorities for business owners, with the cost and complexity associated
• Health care and tax reform are the top legislative priorities for business owners, with the cost and complexity associated with the two areas continuing to be their biggest challenge.
Nick Lambrow, regional president for M&T said the findings of the survey confirm his view that the “business climate in Delaware has improved over the past 6 months.” Lambrow
Lambrow noted that growth continues to be slow in the state.
“Delaware employers have added more than 4,000 jobs over the past year with the most (2,800) in the education and medical sector, and the second most (2,300) in ‘leisure & hospitality’ which includes restaurants and entertainment,” Lambrow noted.
Although encouraging, that is not even a 1 percent growth rate for jobs over the past year. We believe job growth is slow because the unemployment rate is low at 4.7 percent, making it hard to find available workers.”
As the labor market tightens, M&T is seeing signs that capital expenditures on plant and equipment are on the increase.
“For example, we are financing equipment and office expansion with our business clients across the state. The local developers we work with are active with quality infrastructure projects including apartment construction and select renovation projects that will bevery positive for our region, Lambrow stated.
M&T has a footprint that extends from upstate New York to Baltimore. M&T has snapped up smaller banks in the region, including Wilmington Trust.